June 10, 2012

chocolate cravings

Remember at the beginning of the year how I said I was going to be really good about posting in my blog?

Well, at the beginning of the year, I didn't have a baby yet. Get over it. She takes up 90% of my time (and I love her every minute of it). So baking is hard to do with a baby that can't feed herself, sit up by herself, or really, actually, do anything by herself.

That's when the soft carrier comes in. Although I have to admit I'm a little afraid of the authorities coming to get me... carrying around an infant on my tummy while I'm whipping around hot chocolate and hot pans.

Anyway, here's what I've been up to lately! The other day I made some "chocolate-covered strawberry" cupcakes for a girl's birthday... they were REALLY good, actually! I thought they needed more strawberry, but everyone else seemed to disagree. Unfortunately, didn't get any pictures before they got whisked away and gobbled up.

Then I made a chocolate cake, with white chocolate buttercream filling and milk chocolate meringue buttercream frosting. Should have switched them, and put the white chocolate on the outside... but I had less white chocolate than dark chocolate, and, I really really, REALLY needed chocolate.


This is, obviously, after four or five people had a go on it. I couldn't take a picture before it got eaten, which is a good sign, right?

And finally, these tiny petit fours have been a serious nuisance... the glaze just doesn't like me, or the heat, or both, but anyway, they finally worked pretty well and I think I've got the trick now.. :)

Chocolate Covered Strawberry Cupcakes
1/2 c canola oil
1 heaping cup very ripe strawberries, pureed (should give you about 1/2 cup of puree)
1/3 c milk
2 eggs
3/4 c sugar
1 c flour
2 tbsp cornstarch
1 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda

Chocolate Buttercream
2 oz semi sweet baking chocolate
1/2 c cocoa powder
2 sticks unsalted butter at room temp
1/2 tsp vanilla
3 cups powdered sugar

-preheat oven to 350* and line a 12 cup cupcake tin with papers.
-beat eggs, oil, sugar, milk, and strawberries in a medium bowl until smooth and frothy. add dry ingredients all at once and beat until completely smooth. pour into lined cupcake tin and bake for 18-21 mins, until set. let cool completely before frosting
-in the meantime, melt chocolate in a stainless steel bowl set over a pot of boiling water (there should be at least 4" between the water and the bottom of the bowl, that way you will not burn your chocolate.... !) stir it constantly and when it is melted remove it from the heat and keep stirring. add the butter, cocoa, and vanilla and beat until combined. with an electric mixer, beat in powdered sugar until it has a piping consistency. this buttercream should be fairly thick, do not beat in too much air!
-pipe over cooled cakes!

I added some strawberry preserves to the tops of (only 4, because that's all we had) and I think they tasted better... Whatever you do, enjoy!

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